Skift Take

It takes a lot of interconnected technology to power personalization efforts for travel brands. In this post, Epsilon offers a practical guide to getting started.

This sponsored content was created in collaboration with a Skift partner.

This post comes from Epsilon’s Jennifer Bedford. Earlier this year, Epsilon and Adobe partnered with Skift to create the 2017 Digital Transformation Report. Download the full report for free here.

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I remember the days of looking forward to phone calls from friends and meeting people at the roller rink. Personal interaction always left an impression. But things don’t seem quite as personal in this digital age. The constant barrage of stimuli makes it easy to pass over messages.

Since everything is digital these days, messages that call out my name or have extremely relevant content capture my attention. The trick is understanding what to say and when. It’s not easy, but having the right set of tools can make a huge difference in achieving personalized communications.

The best tools are designed to work together and complement each other. It’s a toolbox that’s easy to carry but packs a powerful punch. My toolbox of choice is the Adobe Marketing Cloud because all the tools work together seamlessly to create the type of personal experience customers want.

There are multiple Adobe solutions, but these are the nuts and bolts in your toolbox.


Let’s start with Adobe Experience Manager (AEM). As the name implies, this is the foundation for the experience. It’s a comprehensive experience management solution that enables you to build websites, mobile apps and forms and manage content across all of your channels. It’s used to create digital interfaces with the capability to dynamically change content for a truly relevant experience.

Developers need to create templates and business components, but once those are in place, you can build pages and add rules that govern what is seen, load new images, change content, etc. Create new promotions and offers easily without waiting for IT. AEM is also a complete Content Management System, so all digital assets are stored and managed in one place.

AEM integrates closely with Adobe Target, which enables you to customize personalized messages for your customers. Adobe Target empowers each channel—website, mobile, email, etc.—to change the customer experience based on customer information, preferences and behaviors. It provides traditional A/B and multivariate testing, as well as self-learning algorithms to automate personalization based on predicted and observed responses.

How does this work in practice? Let’s say you launch a campaign that promotes various hotel properties across three core regions: Asia Pacific, Europe and North America. Some of these properties are beachfront getaways, others are focused on entertainment and tourism, while others are conference properties with heavy business travel. Based on data and rules, the tools determine where the customer is most likely to travel, what types of interests the customer has and predicts which hotels would be most compelling. For example, an image of a beach in Europe may display for the customer that travels to London once a month and has a propensity to stay at beachfront properties during leisure travel. Another set of content may show a large Los Angeles conference hotel for a business road warrior. The tools allow you to send 1:1 personalized content and test how customers respond to different content.

Working closely with AEM is Adobe Analytics (AA), which collects and analyzes customer interactions. Understanding which aspects of your digital experience are most compelling—and how to act upon that information—is critical to creating a better experience. AA collects behaviors and actions across channels, connects the information and provides you with a real-time tool to analyze cross-channel behaviors and attribution.

Working very closely with AA is Adobe Audience Manager (AAM), a data management platform that enables you to build and understand audience profiles from a combination of various data sources, including behavioral data from the web, offline modeled or transaction data and third party data like demographics, psychographics and propensities. AAM continually intercepts data so you can activate different audiences and create new segments for more relevant targeting.

A use case for AA and AAM is the intersection of beacon data. Many travel and hospitality providers are installing beacons to enable interactive experiences. Adobe Analytics intercepts data from the beacons, works with AAM to identify the customer behavior and relevant context of the location, and then uses the experience tools to begin an interactive dialog. If a spa, restaurant or similar service is nearby, a message can be triggered to the customer’s mobile app to prompt immediate action.

The final tool is Adobe Campaign, providing the ability to orchestrate and automate campaigns to deliver consistent messages across all channels. To illustrate this, picture your customer logging into your website on their mobile device and checking email on that same device. Those two channels have different mechanisms for communicating. Since the content is coming from different places, the rules and content can get out of sync, creating a disparate experience. With Adobe Campaign, the rules are centralized and used to segment your customers consistently.

Naturally, any toolbox wouldn’t be complete without a tape measure and pencil. Epsilon provides the experience and expertise with Adobe tools to ensure they are integrated properly. Epsilon understands how the tools work, how to implement them, how to capitalize on their features and how to help you and your staff use them effectively.

The diagram below shows the ecosystem and how it works. Let’s start getting personal.

This post comes from Epsilon’s Jennifer Bedford. Earlier this year, Epsilon and Adobe partnered with Skift to create the 2017 Digital Transformation Report. Download the full report for free here.

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Tags: adobe, Epsilon

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